Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad

Rich and creamy, with a surprisingly sweet and yummy sauce– Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad is the recipe you want to have on hand for Spring picnics and Summer barbecues. 

Aunt Gert's Sweet Macaroni Salad

With summer approaching, I’m gearing up to be inundated with higher temps and non-stop activities with the kids.

Not too mention non stop questions, non stop energy, and non stop bickering. All things that will leave my nerves and my plan frazzled, even as I soak in every moment in between where I love having all the boys home with me all day.

Aunt Gert's Sweet Macaroni Salad

With all the constant activity and mild-ish chaos, I often have to sacrifice time spent in the kitchen. Hard to believe even that sometimes I don’t even have that luxury. I mean, not the dishes bit– but the cooking. Just so we’re clear.

As a result, I often find myself often turning to pasta salads as an easy lunch, a simple side for dinner, or a dish everybody can love at a get-together. 

Aunt Gert's Sweet Macaroni Salad

I’ve always been accustomed to pasta dishes that are so ‘hearty’ that they were easily a stand alone meal.

However, this is truly a ‘macaroni’ salad, and I’m pretty sure it single-handedly converted me. I’m always a bit surprised when something so simple tastes this delicious.

Aunt Gert's Macaroni Sweet Salad

Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad is easy, and features radiatore-shaped pasta (but you could also use rotini), chilled overnight in an easy mayonnaise-based sauce.

BUT with a surprisingly sweet side that everybody will love, and that’s so good it’s impossible to ignore. It’s positively addictive, especially if you have any kind of sweet tooth at all.

Aunt Gert's Macaroni Sweet Salad

Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad is pretty much guaranteed to be a family favorite, and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Whatever function or meal you’re planning on using this for, you can’t go wrong. 

It’s perfect to pack for picnics or to bring to the neighborhood barbecue. It’s an easy side dish to any meat entree for a dinner. It’s like a jack of all trades, but in edible form.

Even when the chaos of Summer and kids starts to get to you, don’t let it burn you up.  Cool off with Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad for supper.


Aunt Gert's Sweet Macaroni Salad

A rich and creamy macaroni salad with a surprisingly sweet side.
3.66 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 400kcal


For The Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb radiatore pasta cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic minced

For The Garnish

  • chopped hard-boiled egg and/or chopped parsley- optional


  • In a large bowl, combine mayo, onion, celery, sugar, water, vinegar, and garlic. Stir until evenly combined.
  • Add pasta, stirring until evenly coated.
  • Refrigerate covered pasta overnight. Note that the pasta WILL be very soupy at first, but as it chills it will thicken and get creamy. Just re-stir to evenly coat.
  • Garnish, if desired, and serve.


recipe adapted from Paula Deen


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Other Pasta Salads You Might Enjoy:

Pizza Pasta Salad

Chicken Club Pasta Salad

Sesame Ginger Pasta Salad

Ranch Cheddar Veggie Pasta Salad


5 thoughts on “Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad

  1. I’m so ready for summer to officially arrive so that I can start making all the good summer sides like this yummy looking pasta salad! Happy Fiesta Friday!

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